Transitional forms and the fossil record

An enormous catalog of transitional forms have been found since the time 60 years ago when Gould wrote his book. Since Gould’s long, long ago retirement from the field, paleontologists have discovered:

  • the long series from Pakicetus to blue whales
  • intermediate forms such as Tiktaalik in the transition from fish to amphibians.
  • a long series of transitional forms from dinosaurs to birds
  • a long series of transitional forms from early hominids to humans.



The fourth objection:

That brings up the next claim by the student, which is: “All of the in-between fossils could fit in the back of my Prius…” two examples are given

  1. The Valley of the Whales
  2. Video of “in-between” two others, and over long stretches of time - biologists fly to Canada and find the fish that emerged out of the water and we resulted from that.

I find the argument interesting: in that: similar bones design ( one bone then two then finger) equals common ancestry? Or should it read - similar bone design = similar bone design


Which do you think is the best example?
And why do you think so?

“The Panda’s Thumb”, page 182, second paragraph, fifth sentence. Good enough for you?

Like I said, read the original not some YEC quote mine site.

Common design patterns are one of the indications of common ancestry. The limbs of all tetrapods consist of a single bone, two bones, a bunch of little bones, and digits. Even vestigial limbs contain the same pattern of bones. Evolution works with what it is given so you see the same design pattern used over and over instead of a totally new pattern being used.

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Hi Chris,

Cetacean evolution and hominid -> human evolution seem to be particularly well documented in the fossil record.


Strange, since the link you provided includes a link to a more complete version of the quote used which includes my quote. Did you not bother to read your own source?

This quote is widely used on YEC sites. Which is why there are other sites, like the one you found, that point out using the quote misrepresents Gould.

  1. When you say “transitional” do you mean that the “species” represented by that fossil is on the evolutionary path between ape and man? Or do you mean that it is an intermediate form that is not on the path?
  2. What are the transitional forms in that series?

10 posts were split to a new topic: Common Design and Information

Rivals! Frenemies who changed the world

Rival US paleontologists discovered transitional forms of the horse

@aarceng this is wrong. PE was built on positive fossil evidence. Mainly trilobites and gastropods

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Hi TJ -

You make an excellent point.

However, please note that the quote function always misattributes the writer when one post quotes a post written by someone else. Thus it appears that I was arguing that PE is just an excuse for lack of transitional forms, which is not the case. I recommend that you edit the attribution by hand for clarity’s sake.


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I tried lol. That’s why I made sure to tag him. I’m not too good at discourse. So if a moderator would like to step in and edit it that’d be great

What about human evolution?

We can document gradually-morphing transitional forms for the past six million years, correct ?

Sure. In another thread we’ve been discussing how the morphology of feet has been evolving in conjunction with the development of obligate bipedalism.


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Which one would that be, please?

Here ya go, Erik:

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Thank you

The book “Frenemies” describes the discovery of all the transitional forms of the North American horse over the past 55 Myr or so

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